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Paid parking may be coming to Pere Marquette this summer

Posted at 5:02 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 21:51:10-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The City of Muskegon is considering charging for parking this summer at Pere Marquette beach.

A day pass would cost $5, a season pass would be either $20 or $25, and Muskegon residents will get a free pass.

“We’ve been looking into it for the last few years, we’ve found it costs a lot of money to maintain our beach,” Muskegon City Planner Mike Franzak said.

It costs around $500,000 a year to maintain the park, per city planner Mike Franzak. Conservative estimates say the paid parking could bring in $100,00-$200,000 to help offset that.

Candy Smith is a Muskegon resident who comes to Pere Marquette every day, even in the dead of winter.

She says while she won't have to pay, she still would if it meant enjoying the beach.

“Everyone gets to enjoy this, and if we need to do our part to maintain that, then I’m OK with it,” Candy said.

Franzak says while not everyone is happy with the proposed decision, it's becoming a necessary one.

“It’s going to be a tough pill to swallow for some people, but that’s why we’re keeping the price very low. We don’t think it will be a deterrent for anybody. Still a very nominal fee, and people will still be able to enjoy the beach,” Franzak said.

It will also cost $5 to park at The Deck restaurant at the beach.

The parking pass for Muskegon residents would only include the city of Muskegon. Norton Shores and Muskegon Heights residents would have to pay.

A date for a final decision has not been announced just yet.